Bride Changed Her Servings 2 Weeks Ago...what Do I Do?

Baking By STCF Updated 13 Jun 2015 , 6:08am by kakeladi

STCF Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 6:01pm
post #1 of 15

Hi all,

I was hoping for some advice.  I am doing my 2nd wedding cake ever and the bride prepaid a few months ago for a 5-tier cake yielding 196 servings.  Well, she messaged me 2 weeks ago and said that she is actually only going to have 150 people and she didn't want to have a bunch of leftover cake.  If I take off the largest tier, there won't be enough servings, and an 8-inch is too big for the anniversary tier.  In addition, I already bought everything for the original order.  What would you suggest I do?

14 replies
SweetTartCakery Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 6:16pm
post #2 of 15

What size are the original tiers? Can you make the smallest one a 6" and go up from there? 

mccantsbakes Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 6:23pm
post #3 of 15

I don't know what you *should* tell her! but my reaction would be to tell her (much like I tell my kids) "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit"   Or, "you already paid and it's already made"

but that is just snarky me reacting 


Do you have any overage already accounted for in the cake? (Like if joe the busboy drops 5 pieces? Or if uncle Harry eats 3 or if the cake cutter is a bit generous with portions?)  I read somewhere that you should have an allowance for those type of things....I don't know if you can sell 46 extra servings as the "oops" allowance though. 

What does your contract say about last minute changes? Is there an allowance for that? If so, refer to that.  You may have to take the hard line if your contract says no changes this close to the date.   

Maybe explain to her that adjusting the servings would alter her design and would short you on cake much like you explained to us......but I doubt she wants to hear that.  She probably wants to hear that you will accommodate this change and refund her the difference because it's "just cake" (RIGHT!!!!!  sigh)

I wonder if there could be a clause added to a contract that stipulates any changes beyond a certain date would result in a charge for design alterations......maybe then 46 extra servings wouldn't sound so bad after all.


-K8memphis Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 6:39pm
post #4 of 15

you could do a 12 square 12 round 9 round 6 round for 172 servings and then minus the stop tier it's 160 - that's about right on when you figure in a few extra servings for dowel displacement or if they drop a couple -- but still that's only 4 tiers -- is she still wanting 5?

but a 4x6x8x10x14 all round will get you there too - probably something like a 4x6x9x11x13 but that last one might be a few short -- I don't have my chart nearby

So you gonna refund her any money too? bummer

on my order blank I say that no changes can be made after the last payment is made which is made a month or more in advance of the date

ideas for the future - best to you



Pastrybaglady Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 6:47pm
post #5 of 15

Did you have a contract?  The contract should spell out by what date changes can be made and when final payment is made - non-refundable.  Can you return the equipment you bought?  Did you already bake the cakes?  If not, you could drop the bottom tier and provide a kitchen cake to make up for the lost servings.  Of course you will let the bride decide if she's okay with a 4 tier cake or is she would rather deal with the leftovers - and if your contract says non-refundable by such and such date you still keep the money no matter what.

Webake2gether Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 6:49pm
post #6 of 15


Quote by @mccantsbakes on 10 minutes ago

I don't know what you *should* tell her! but my reaction would be to tell her (much like I tell my kids) "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit"   Or, "you already paid and it's already made"

but that is just snarky me reacting 


Do you have any overage already accounted for in the cake? (Like if joe the busboy drops 5 pieces? Or if uncle Harry eats 3 or if the cake cutter is a bit generous with portions?)  I read somewhere that you should have an allowance for those type of things....I don't know if you can sell 46 extra servings as the "oops" allowance though. 

What does your contract say about last minute changes? Is there an allowance for that? If so, refer to that.  You may have to take the hard line if your contract says no changes this close to the date.   

Maybe explain to her that adjusting the servings would alter her design and would short you on cake much like you explained to us......but I doubt she wants to hear that.  She probably wants to hear that you will accommodate this change and refund her the difference because it's "just cake" (RIGHT!!!!!  sigh)

I wonder if there could be a clause added to a contract that stipulates any changes beyond a certain date would result in a charge for design alterations......maybe then 46 extra servings wouldn't sound so bad after all.

I tell my boys the same thing lol. But sometimes brides are more irrational than 5 year olds so that probably won't work :) 

Even though I don't sell what we make I still have an agreement that is emailed and confirmed. In my agreement it states that I can't gurantee that any changes can be made 2 weeks prior to due date. Our poor friends and family are our practice customers and we treat it as though they are paying customers. I know to most people scaling down would seem to be no problem at all but it has the potential to change a lot of things.  One thing I know I will have in our contracts which don't apply to us yet is that once final payment is made changes cannot be made. I kind of do this now but just with the 2 week prior to due date. Because I'm assuming most final payments are due 2 weeks to a month prior to a wedding correct? I would say if final payment has been made it's a done deal and who doesn't want extra cake?!?! Silly people lol. 

-K8memphis Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 7:08pm
post #7 of 15

just for some of the newbies -- caterers of course want a head count -- it's often done at the last minute and they can add or subtract a few servings easier than cakers -- and it's expected -- so that's why you hedge your bet in the first place with a cutoff date for changes -- i say that additional cake can be ordered in 24 serving increments but no changes, jose, no bueno --

and as far wanting extra cake i think you were joking/teasing right? i mean yes what's the problem with extra cake it's just that it costs several to many dollars a serving so extra cake i$ a problem but i know you knew that

Webake2gether Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 7:35pm
post #8 of 15

k8memphis I was poking a little fun bc no cake goes wasted here :) I realize head counts change it happened at our wedding but it never crossed my mind to change my cake. I paid for it already. I also didn't have an excessively expensive wedding  either and I was on a budget we were young and paid for everything ourselves. Our cake cost  more than my dress and it was worth it :) now that I think about it there wasn't much left if any I may have had a piece the next day. Just a little funny I still have my dress but the cake lady retired oh what I wouldn't do for a piece of her cake to walk down memory lane bc I'm certain my dress won't fit haha ;) 

-K8memphis Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 7:51pm
post #9 of 15

oh no! dress won't fit -- ouch let's not go there -- hahahaha -- i think erma bombeck said it best -- something to the effect of if she had kept off all the weight she has lost you could hang her from a charm bracelet -- seriously 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

which reminds me of something you might want to consider since you're in pre-launch mode -- i box up two 4 or 5 inch cakes in cute little 6" boxes to deliver with each of my wedding cakes -- one is honeymoon and one is first anniversary -- honeymoon cake because many b & g's never get more than the picture taking taste of cake or they don't remember what it was like and nice box of a sweet treat after such a big day is a blessing -- then the 1st anniversary cake is ready for the freezer -- bam!

these cakes are my gift and they are a selling tool -- it enables them to use all the servings in their cakes too -- no need to save the top tier and subtract those servings -- it also helps me because i don't have to get all tied up in knots with the math if they change sizes like is going on in an alternate thread - 

and because from leveling scraps or left over batter it's easy peasy to pop out two four inch cakes -- profitable way to use scraps

best to u2

-K8memphis Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 7:52pm
post #10 of 15

no wait -- not going on in an alternate thread -- it's going on in this thread

Webake2gether Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 7:59pm
post #11 of 15


Quote by @-K8memphis on 22 seconds ago

oh no! dress won't fit -- ouch let's not go there -- hahahaha -- i think erma bombeck said it best -- something to the effect of if she had kept off all the weight she has lost you could hang her from a charm bracelet -- seriously 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

which reminds me of something you might want to consider since you're in pre-launch mode -- i box up two 4 or 5 inch cakes in cute little 6" boxes to deliver with each of my wedding cakes -- one is honeymoon and one is first anniversary -- honeymoon cake because many b & g's never get more than the picture taking taste of cake or they don't remember what it was like and nice box of a sweet treat after such a big day is a blessing -- then the 1st anniversary cake is ready for the freezer -- bam!

these cakes are my gift and they are a selling tool -- it enables them to use all the servings in their cakes too -- no need to save the top tier and subtract those servings -- it also helps me because i don't have to get all tied up in knots with the math if they change sizes like is going on in an alternate thread - 

and because from leveling scraps or left over batter it's easy peasy to pop out two four inch cakes -- profitable way to use scraps

best to u2

Well my dress was an altered size 6 and I'm still around that size but two pregnancies have a way of changing your shape dramatically. I didn't know I was a pear shape until I had two kids lol. I was a straight up and down stick not anymore but I wouldn't change a thing :) 

also love the ideas on the two extra cakes what a smart thing to do!! We've yet to do any wedding cakes all our friends and family are married. I'm waiting on my cousins to grow up before weddings and baby showers are popular for us lol. They are all close to their 20's so maybe they will before we open up for business. Thanks again for the advice!!!

mccantsbakes Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 8:21pm
post #12 of 15

Kate, that is a great idea for leftover scraps....and SO thoughtful too.     I wish you had made my cake :)

-K8memphis Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 8:27pm
post #13 of 15

on what a sweet thing to say, mccantscakes, thank you

STCF Posted 12 Jun 2015 , 8:49pm
post #14 of 15

Thank you all so much for the advice.  I didn't put the 'last minute changes' part in the contract...lesson  learned.  I think what I will do is keep the 5 tiers and just do 2-layer cakes instead of 3.  I will also send an extra 6" cake, that's a good idea.  All of the input is much appreciated!

kakeladi Posted 13 Jun 2015 , 6:08am
post #15 of 15

I say it's too late to downsize the cake - unless you can easily make the changes - which you say isn't possible.  Soooo give the bride some suggestions on what to do with leftover cake.  Cut it into 3 or 4 serving chunks and give to the bridesmaids or other relatives.   Some people have a gift opening time the day after the wedding - it can be served there.  Also properly wrapped it will last nicely in the fzr up to 1 year but suggest a 1st month anniversary celebration with family or just the 2 of them.  I can't tell you how many of my brides ordered extra just so there would be leftovers.

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